The Woman in White (1948)

108 mins | Drama | 15 May 1948

Full page view
HISTORY

The film begins with the following written foreword: "This famous story of mystery was written by Wilkie Collins nearly a hundred years ago. It is recognized as a classic and has set a pattern for this entire field of literature." According to a 23 Aug 1946 HR news item, Eleanor Parker was given her dual role in this film after she was suspended for her refusal to appear in Warner Bros.' film Love and Learn (see above). According to an undated press release, Zachary Scott was at one time assigned to the film.
       Other films based on the same source include a 1912 Universal two reel film; a 1917 Fox production entitled Tangled Lives ; the 1917 Thanhouser film The Woman in White ; a 1919 Pathé production entitled The Twin Pawns (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4363, F1.4598, and F1.5078); a 1929 British Film produced by British and Dominions Film Corp., directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Blanche Sweet; a 1940 British production made by Pennant entitled The Crimes at the Dark House , directed by George King and starring Sylvia Marriott; a 1960 NBC-TV production for the Dow Hour of Great Mysteries , produced by Robert Saudek, directed by Paul Nickell and starring Siobhan McKenna, Walter Slezak and Lois Nettleton; and a BBC production made in the 1980s, produced by Jonathan Powell, directed by John Bruce and starring Jenny ... More Less

The film begins with the following written foreword: "This famous story of mystery was written by Wilkie Collins nearly a hundred years ago. It is recognized as a classic and has set a pattern for this entire field of literature." According to a 23 Aug 1946 HR news item, Eleanor Parker was given her dual role in this film after she was suspended for her refusal to appear in Warner Bros.' film Love and Learn (see above). According to an undated press release, Zachary Scott was at one time assigned to the film.
       Other films based on the same source include a 1912 Universal two reel film; a 1917 Fox production entitled Tangled Lives ; the 1917 Thanhouser film The Woman in White ; a 1919 Pathé production entitled The Twin Pawns (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4363, F1.4598, and F1.5078); a 1929 British Film produced by British and Dominions Film Corp., directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Blanche Sweet; a 1940 British production made by Pennant entitled The Crimes at the Dark House , directed by George King and starring Sylvia Marriott; a 1960 NBC-TV production for the Dow Hour of Great Mysteries , produced by Robert Saudek, directed by Paul Nickell and starring Siobhan McKenna, Walter Slezak and Lois Nettleton; and a BBC production made in the 1980s, produced by Jonathan Powell, directed by John Bruce and starring Jenny Seagrove. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Apr 1948.
---
Daily Variety
20 Apr 48
p. 3, 9
Film Daily
21 Apr 48
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 1946.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 46
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 47
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 48
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Apr 48
p. 4137.
New York Times
8 May 48
p. 12.
Variety
21 Apr 1948.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Smith's gowns by
MUSIC
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff dir
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit pub
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (London, 1860).
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 May 1948
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 7 May 1948
Production Date:
late September 1946--early February 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 May 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1609
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
108
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12009
SYNOPSIS

In 1851, artist Walter Hartright arrives in Limmeridge, England to teach drawing to wealthy Laura Fairlie. As he walks to the Fairlie estate, he encounters a strange young woman dressed in white, who disappears when a carriage drives up. The passenger, Count Alesandro Fosco, asks Walter if he has passed a woman, explaining that she has escaped from a private asylum, but Walter says nothing. At the house, Walter is greeted by Laura's cousin, Marian Halcombe. The other members of the household are Mrs. Vesey, Laura's old nurse, and Frederick Fairlie, their invalid uncle and heir to the house. The conversation between Walter and Marian is interrupted by Fosco's arrival. Walter then pays a visit to Fairlie, a man with a nervous disposition, who never leaves his rooms, and is struck by the strange atmosphere in the house. The next morning, Walter is introduced to Laura and mistakes her for the woman he met on the road. He soon realizes his mistake, and at breakfast, an amused Laura reveals the story to the rest of the house. Later, Mrs. Vesey admits that many years earlier, there was a little girl at the house, who was about the same age and appearance as Laura. This information prompts Marian to read through old family letters, which confirm Vesey's story and reveal that the girl's name was Ann Catherick. Although Walter asks Marian not to mention the letter to Fosco, the count sees it and surreptitiously removes it. Walter and Laura fall in love, but their romance is ended with the arrival of Sir Percival Glyde, Laura's fiancé. Warned by Marian, Walter decides to ... +


In 1851, artist Walter Hartright arrives in Limmeridge, England to teach drawing to wealthy Laura Fairlie. As he walks to the Fairlie estate, he encounters a strange young woman dressed in white, who disappears when a carriage drives up. The passenger, Count Alesandro Fosco, asks Walter if he has passed a woman, explaining that she has escaped from a private asylum, but Walter says nothing. At the house, Walter is greeted by Laura's cousin, Marian Halcombe. The other members of the household are Mrs. Vesey, Laura's old nurse, and Frederick Fairlie, their invalid uncle and heir to the house. The conversation between Walter and Marian is interrupted by Fosco's arrival. Walter then pays a visit to Fairlie, a man with a nervous disposition, who never leaves his rooms, and is struck by the strange atmosphere in the house. The next morning, Walter is introduced to Laura and mistakes her for the woman he met on the road. He soon realizes his mistake, and at breakfast, an amused Laura reveals the story to the rest of the house. Later, Mrs. Vesey admits that many years earlier, there was a little girl at the house, who was about the same age and appearance as Laura. This information prompts Marian to read through old family letters, which confirm Vesey's story and reveal that the girl's name was Ann Catherick. Although Walter asks Marian not to mention the letter to Fosco, the count sees it and surreptitiously removes it. Walter and Laura fall in love, but their romance is ended with the arrival of Sir Percival Glyde, Laura's fiancé. Warned by Marian, Walter decides to leave the house, but before he does, he again encounters Ann, who tells him that she has been kept in an asylum to prevent her from warning Laura. After hearing part of her story, Walter accuses Percival and Fosco of forcing Fairlie to agree to Percival's marriage to Laura. Fosco dismisses Ann as a mentally disturbed woman. Later, when Marian returns to the house after Laura's marriage, she is surprised to learn that the old family servants have been replaced and is shocked by the change in Laura's behavior. Later, Laura tells Marian secretly that she is frightened of her husband, who wants her fortune. Fosco has been drugging Laura in order to gain control of her mind. That night, Ann visits a delusional Laura to warn her against Fosco, but he and Percival frighten Ann to death before she can reveal her secret. They then decide to pretend that Laura is dead and bury Ann in her place. Walter, who has recently returned from Italy, attends the funeral and realizes that the dead woman is Ann. In the meantime, Fosco tries to convince Laura that she is Ann. He is not completely successful, however, and then Laura tells Percival that she is pregnant. Walter and Marian, who have realized that they are in love, travel to the asylum, where Fosco has imprisioned Laura, to try and rescue her from her captors. Laura manages to escape and Walter brings her to the hotel where Marian is supposed to be waiting. However, Marian has returned to Limmeridge to beg Fosco to free her cousin. Fosco then tells Marian that Ann was the illegitimate daughter of Fairlie's sister, and that he married Ann's mother and blackmailed Fairlie in order to get the family fortune. Marian promises to join Fosco if he will write down the entire story. As they speak, Fosco's insane wife enters the room and stabs Fosco, in revenge for the death of her daughter. As he dies, the police, Laura and Walter arrive. Later, Walter marries Marian, and the couple lives together with their daughter and Laura and her son. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.